Trunk House

DesignerPaul Morgan Architects
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The project is a small cabin set in a beautiful forest of Stringybark woodland. The brief included a living area, small kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. The clients loved the isolation of the forest, and the closeness of the birdlife. The initial designs responded to the forms of bleached bones of kangaroos and sheep, Laugier’s discussion of the primitive hut, the local modernist tradition of the small house utilising triangulated steel and timber structures and the structural forms of indigenous aboriginal shelters. The engineer Peter Felicetti proposed utilising the timber forks, or bifurcations as the basis for the structure. A system of forks and columns, creating an external truss, was developed. An internal column with radiating beams completed the structure, the complete triangulated truss system attaining great inherent strength. Stringybark trees were removed from the site to make way for the new house. The lining boards were milled and cured on site, and then fixed internally. It also resulted in a minimal carbon footprint for the sourcing and installing of the lining boards. The design sought to achieve an almost transparent relationship with the surrounding forest, achieved through an eco-morphological transformation of ground fuel into structure.